12 things you didn’t know you can recycle

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Since seeing the shocking footage of plastic in our oceans in Blue Planet II, we have all become much aware of the problems of recycling. Consuming less stuff is always the better option over recycling more, but recycling well rather than increasing landfill also needs to be done until we have a more circular system.

With this in mind I did a little research and discovered lots of things that I hadn’t realised could be recycled. The Terracycle website has a whole lot of recycling options. Hopefully these will help you to cut down on your household waste too.

  1. Contact Lenses
    Check with your local opticians and Boots or the Acuvue website.
  2. Pens
    Get a collection of old felts, biros, highlighters, correction pots and eraser pens going at your kid’s school or at work and then check Terracycle for the Bic recycling scheme where they are turned into garden furniture
  3. Toilettes & Make Up
    There are several ways to recycle these through Toiletries Amnesty, Neals Yard and Garnier, Carex and Colgate through Terracycle. Colgate drop off location take all sorts of used oral care products
  4. Snack Packaging
    There are lots of options for recycling snack packaging on Terracycle including crisp packets, KP Snacks, Kinder, Pringles and more.
  5. Bras
    Your unwanted, unloved bras or gently used bras can be recycled to raise money for breast cancer, for women and girls in Africa or to help vulnerable women.
  6. Inhalers
    I recycle my sons inhalers at the pharmacist at our local branch of Tescos. Ask your local pharmacist to join the scheme too. You can find out more here.
  7. Coffee Pods
    If you use Nespresso pods you can recycle them at Nespresso boutiques or at over 7000 Collect Plus locations
  8. Coffee Cups
    Drop off coffee cups from any coffee shop at a Costa coffee shop
  9. Spectacles
    Your old glasses can often be recycled through your opticians which are often sent to developing countries or via Vison Aid Overseas or drop them in at Marie Curie shops.
  10. Bottle corks
    You can recycle your wine bottle corks here.
  11. Mobile phones
    You can sell your old or damaged mobile phones through Envirophone, Mazuma Mobile or donate them to raise money for charity via Oxfam
  12. Wellies
    There are more things you can recycle at Recycle Box including Hunter wellies which are turned into horse arena, playground and road surfacing.

Always check on the packaging to see as it will often say if it can be recycled, for instance most poly bag type packaging like bread bags can be recycled at large supermarkets along with shopping bags.

There are of course lots of things that you can’t recycle, but it might be worth mentioning some of these as some were a surprise to me: shiny paper receipts, toilet roll tubes, brightly dyed paper, napkins and paper towels, cotton wool, pizza boxes, shredded paper, post-it notes, tissues. However, items that are biodegradable on this list can be composted instead.

Let me know if you come across any other unusual or handy things that can be recycled so I can add them to the list.

Ismay
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#zerowaste #recycling #lowimpactliving

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